The School Shooter Mod

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The School Shooter Mod

Our panel put the School Shooter controversy into context.

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Bam! suprise jim! And i though i could contain him by just refusing to watch his terrible show.

This is probably my favorite content on the Escapist right now. It always makes me think.

I agree that the school shooter mod is tasteless, and I'm not defending it. But I'm not going to ask people to take it down, or stop playing it. I will make fun of those people, perhaps, but at the point where you start employing new regulations just because you're "offended," you've gone too far.

Okay, Art can come from movies, but not every movie is art. Sure we are "fighting" for video games to be considered art, but there are tons other mediums that are "officially" considered art that pour out **** as bad as the School Shooter mods. The Jackass movies, Beavis and Butthead movie, parody movies, Postal, most drug based movies, and on and on.

I am not saying that some of those movies were not entertaining, because they damn were. I am saying that any medium that is now considered art has bad examples to prove said medium is art.

So in short games like School Shooter will smear the name of art as bad as those odd pieces of construction found in big cities, basically very little to no effect.

Jim is DEAD ON

people have a strange habit of finding tasteless material unacceptable until some vague, arbitrary grace period has passed.

The south park answer is "20 years" so we got a ways to go before columbine hits that mark.

and also Jim is one of the few sane people on this planet

the only way to combat offensive content is to not be offended.

I wish I could stop being offended by people being outraged at things that offend them, yes I know that is either hypocrisy or circular logic or possibly an oxymoron

for more on this subject search for "dickwolves controversy"

We replaced our normal angry Brit with one with more body mass. Let's see who notices...

Seriously, Jim's got alot of valid points. Though MovieBob's point about the tone of how a game is being exploitive (DNF is very tounge-in-cheek about it, while this thing sounds like something that... well, a troll made) is also valid. Honestly, the fact that I haven't heard of this thing until now seems to suggest I'm doing my job of not feeding the trolls.

A huge plethora of great arguments were made in this column. I anxiously await the next one. A bit disappointed that Yahtzee did not join in this week. Perhaps he is still hung up about Portal 2...

Jim raises some interesting point, but I find myself agreeing more with moviebob. Just because you are against censorship doesn't mean you should troll or you're deserving of awards for making a tasteless shooter...it's so juvenile...

Scrumpmonkey:
Bam! suprise jim! And i though i could contain him by just refusing to watch his show.

This. Oh god THIS.

OT: I couldn't read this weeks edition of Extra cons for reasons that if i explained them i would be banned for breaking the forums rules on attitude towards contributors.

A FPS where you are a poor bastard escaping the sniper?

I think modding Team Fortress 2 can do that. Just make people unarmed medics and put Sniper bots everywhere.

I agree with Bob.At first I thought "damn some crappy mod is getting a lot of attention".Then when the drama started I was kinda thinking "they'd need to create a game equivalent to train up a school shooter".If it wasn't for all the outroar this could've been brushed off with a laugh and while Fox was going for the big news we could just laugh at them.

I don't really think anyone could make a game about school shooters if he believed games were the cause for those in the first place.We could've trolled so hard.Wasted opportunity :/

I kind of agree with Jim. It's the same issue I had with the uproar about the dog fighting game on iphone. We will avidly support GTA (where I can have sex with a prostitute and then kill her to get my money back) but decry games like this. My opinion is if you know you're going to be offensive be clever about it and have something to say. George Carlin's seven dirty words piece offended a lot of people but he did it to make a point (and because he loved to swear). Otherwise you're being a dick. But regulating dickish behaviour just means that when someone acts like a dick thy're breaking some societal norm and it just draws attention to them. The real world needs to realise "Don't feed the trolls." They're doing this solely to shock you and get attention. They know you're going to give them negative attention. They want you to. Just don't please them.

Scrumpmonkey:
Bam! suprise jim! And i though i could contain him by just refusing to watch his show.

Basically this.

@James. If you read this, I would love to play your SPS idea!

My issue with the mod isn't its existence. It's its reason for being and treatment of the topic it's addressing. I myself have never played GTA or any games like it, but I think the reason why people don't mind killing defenseless NPCs in those games is because there has never been a similar incident in real life (Or at least not to my knowledge. Feel free to correct me.). We're not replicating any real life massacre that we know of or can remember.

The same cannot be said of this mod. We can think of two real life incidents off the top of our head. We remember the news coverage. I am assuming that we all were born prior to at least the Virginia Tech massacre. (Because if you weren't, you're four now at oldest.) This is not like our army games. Sure, those games replicate real life events, but you're playing as soldiers fighting against other soldiers, people who are not defenseless. The people in this mod are. The developer doesn't want it to be educational. He doesn't see the potential of video games as an art form. I almost get the sense that he feels it shouldn't be. He just wants his mod to be fun. If you don't believe me, check MovieBob's link. Replicating such horrific incidents should never be fun.

In conclusion: They would like to defend it but its a shitty mod.

I always thought that the developers just wanted to fuck around with "gamers" morality issues.

but this isn't that game - this is artistically-bankrupt, feces-thrown-at-the-audience, "look at me!!! I'm soooo naughty!!!" bullshit of the highest order; and if there's ONE thing that's holding the "games as art" conversation back it's that we're forced to waste time defending shit like this on the technicalities of free speech instead of defending GOOD controversial games on their genuine merits.

Someone get the clapping Citizen Kane .gif!

Suda51 is disturbed and/or brilliant

NOW!

In all seriouness:
I agree that singling out School Shooter out of everything, when there are plenty other ones just as bad (KKK Race War, for one.). It shouldn't have become a big deal. But now that it has, the maker is going to get all sorts of undeserved attention. A lot will be negative, but no publicity is bad publicity.

The South Park example was a good one. And it also reminds me of the Taliban BS from before: nobody minded playing as terrorists until they used a slightly more topical name for them. But on the other hand, this particular guy is clearly just doing it for attention.

Good points all around. I'm eagerly awaiting the remainder of this conversation.

Huh. No Yahtzee today.

There's still not all that much debate. Perhaps they should try to find topics they don't agree on to such a degree.

Once again I have to agree with Jim.

Anyone else think he should switch to written articles? The guy has (some) valid points, but he just doesn't work on screen.

Android2137:
My issue with the mod isn't its existence. It's its reason for being and treatment of the topic it's addressing. I myself have never played GTA or any games like it, but I think the reason why people don't mind killing defenseless NPCs in those games is because there has never been a similar incident in real life (Or at least not to my knowledge. Feel free to correct me.). We're not replicating any real life massacre that we know of or can remember.

The same cannot be said of this mod. We can think of two real life incidents off the top of our head. We remember the news coverage. I am assuming that we all were born prior to at least the Virginia Tech massacre. (Because if you weren't, you're four now at oldest.) This is not like our army games. Sure, those games replicate real life events, but you're playing as soldiers fighting against other soldiers, people who are not defenseless. The people in this mod are. The developer doesn't want it to be educational. He doesn't see the potential of video games as an art form. I almost get the sense that he feels it shouldn't be. He just wants his mod to be fun. If you don't believe me, check MovieBob's link. Replicating such horrific incidents should never be fun.

The Airport Scene in Modern Warfare 2. Hell in the Sims my back yard would've sent a shiver down the spine's of Fred and Rose West (and I know I'm not the only one who played the Sims like that). In GTA you can act out a lot of horrible things on innocent people. Large scale bombings in streets. Snipers on buildings picking off innocent civilians. Just the other day a woman was murdered with a machete in the streets which you can also do in GTA. This mod isn't about the specific shootings that happened. It's based on the concept of school shootings. Yes they're horrible. But so's a lot of stuff in games. We live in a messed up wrld. And the average game dev is less depraved than most murderous sociopaths. If a dev putsa violent crime in a game, believe me some sicko has done it before.

While I read this I actually thought of the opening cut-scene to Bulletstorm, and how the story would have been a lot more interesting if placed in artistic hands. You could make an emotionally engaging game where you think you're gunning down generic bad guys until it turns out you were manipulated into slaying innocents. However, I don't think People Can Fly or Epic Games are the right studio to accomplish such a thing.

Then again, there are a lot of gamers that weren't really disturbed by No Russian (Hell, I was more disturbed by the fact that I WASN'T disturbed by it). I know some have suggested that gamers are desensitized, but I wonder if the exposure to games has created such a rift between reality and fantasy that it makes it troublesome to feel the emotional impact of some games.

deathninja:
Once again I have to agree with Jim.

Anyone else think he should switch to written articles? The guy has (some) valid points, but he just doesn't work on screen.

This

I was personally shocked I agreed with Jim on this subject especially as I found his videos obnoxious and I haven't watched one since the second.

deathninja:
Once again I have to agree with Jim.

Anyone else think he should switch to written articles? The guy has (some) valid points, but he just doesn't work on screen.

He's had a number on the Escapist so far, as well as Destructoid. I would recommend you search for him since he is an excellent writer.

I'm personally not a fan of his built up persona

Goddamn, Jim is irritating. He's a pointless addition to the Escapist, and he's starting to infiltrate things other than his poorly made show.

And, really Jim? The whole "The hurtful power of racial slurs is the fault of those hurt by them" argument? I thought most of us left that behind in middle school when we grew powers of reasoning. If someone were to call you a grotesque fat-ass devoid of brain, it would be them being a jerk, not you masochistically taking it too personally.

Funny thing is, I frequently agree with Jim and disagree with the likes of MovieBob and Yahtzee. But I HATE Jim and LOVE MovieBob and Yahtzee.

Boo.

Ok these seriously need to stop being cut in two. When the discussion resumes next week I won't remember this part and this week lacks real closure. Just do one whole bi-weekly and this would jump from "I might as well" to "must-read".

Moviebob: "As the saying goes, 'Shit has its own integrity.'"

For once I agree with Bob here. It perfectly has the right to exist, and be discussed, but that is its only point in its existence. It isn't honest about anything really. There's a reason stories are written to give specific moralization to the mechanics, and he isn't really doing much by "exposing" this.

ccesarano:
While I read this I actually thought of the opening cut-scene to Bulletstorm, and how the story would have been a lot more interesting if placed in artistic hands. You could make an emotionally engaging game where you think you're gunning down generic bad guys until it turns out you were manipulated into slaying innocents. However, I don't think People Can Fly or Epic Games are the right studio to accomplish such a thing.

Then again, there are a lot of gamers that weren't really disturbed by No Russian (Hell, I was more disturbed by the fact that I WASN'T disturbed by it). I know some have suggested that gamers are desensitized, but I wonder if the exposure to games has created such a rift between reality and fantasy that it makes it troublesome to feel the emotional impact of some games.

I haven't played Bulletstorm, but it is written by an artist in his own right - comic book writer Rick Remender. I highly recommend you read anything by him - specifically FEAR agent. This is not to say you're wrong, but I have to say the voice behind the game has some artistic cred.

Harry Mason:
Goddamn, Jim is irritating. He's a pointless addition to the Escapist, and he's starting to infiltrate things other than his poorly made show.

And, really Jim? The whole "The hurtful power of racial slurs is the fault of those hurt by them" argument? I thought most of us left that behind in middle school when we grew powers of reasoning. If someone were to call you a grotesque fat-ass devoid of brain, it would be them being a jerk, not you masochistically taking it too personally.

Funny thing is, I frequently agree with Jim and disagree with the likes of MovieBob and Yahtzee. But I HATE Jim and LOVE MovieBob and Yahtzee.

Boo.

I think the point is the power of the words come from our reactions. If you did call him that and he wasn't offended your words would have been powerless.

This is the point where Jim Sterling officially lost any and all respect from me (his awful, awful show notwithstanding). He argues that the only way to combat offensive content is to just not be offended by it, which is stupid in a plethora of ways. The first being that if this line of thinking continued on it's logical path then we as humans would never be shocked or offended by anything, which would be a. not possible and b. completely stupid. The second and largest logical fallacy in his argument problem is that he implies that people can choose what to be offended by, which just makes me foam at the mouth at how someone can POSSIBLY think that.

Spot1990:

Harry Mason:
Goddamn, Jim is irritating. He's a pointless addition to the Escapist, and he's starting to infiltrate things other than his poorly made show.

And, really Jim? The whole "The hurtful power of racial slurs is the fault of those hurt by them" argument? I thought most of us left that behind in middle school when we grew powers of reasoning. If someone were to call you a grotesque fat-ass devoid of brain, it would be them being a jerk, not you masochistically taking it too personally.

Funny thing is, I frequently agree with Jim and disagree with the likes of MovieBob and Yahtzee. But I HATE Jim and LOVE MovieBob and Yahtzee.

Boo.

I think the point is the power of the words come from our reactions. If you did call him that and he wasn't offended your words would have been powerless.

Oh dear, actual people think this too. Not just the ridiculous cartoon figure that Sterling is.

Hi there, I'm just dropping by to say that these articles are a great, great addition to the content the Escapist provides, and I'd love to keep reading articles such as these. This is the kind of stuff that makes me come back to the Escapist.

Spot1990:
The Airport Scene in Modern Warfare 2. Hell in the Sims my back yard would've sent a shiver down the spine's of Fred and Rose West (and I know I'm not the only one who played the Sims like that). In GTA you can act out a lot of horrible things on innocent people. Large scale bombings in streets. Snipers on buildings picking off innocent civilians. Just the other day a woman was murdered with a machete in the streets which you can also do in GTA. This mod isn't about the specific shootings that happened. It's based on the concept of school shootings. Yes they're horrible. But so's a lot of stuff in games. We live in a messed up wrld. And the average game dev is less depraved than most murderous sociopaths. If a dev putsa violent crime in a game, believe me some sicko has done it before.

Admittedly never played those games myself (and never did anything intentionally horrible to my sims). I had played the first couple levels of my brother-in-law's Modern Warfare 2 though. The experience wasn't fun so much as absorbing. Felt fear of getting shot and killed (and restarting), anxiety from being unable to hear orders over the gunshots and chaos, depression at the ruined buildings, and a bit of guilt when I shot people I wasn't supposed to on accident (I was really really bad at that game). Maybe I'm just more emotional and gullible than other people, but I really felt the heavy atmosphere that comes with war. (But GTA, never played, so I can't say anything about that.)

I'm not saying these games shouldn't be made. The world IS screwed up and hiding from that would only exacerbate the problem. What I am saying is that these horrors shouldn't be treated so flippantly. I didn't find Modern Warfare 2 flippant, but I do get the feeling that this mod will be just from the way the developer talks.

Jim comes across much better in writing than speaking.

Anyway, I think MovieBob pretty much owned this discussion. He turned it around and controlled the flow of it masterfully, wonderfully demonstrating his point. A point that I agree with. I am left curious, though, as to what Yahtzee would have said, only because I was wondering that when I clicked on this link only to find out that he couldn't do it this week.

I have to agree with Jim, because some of his points are what I've been saying for a long time.

Example, the 'Words only have the meaning we ascribe to them.' is something that I constantly say to tell people why 'curse words' are silly. (Not in those exact words, but the gist is the same.) I forget which one specifically, but there was a fictional country in a book where the worst phrase they had was 'You're fair haired.' and that was considered to be extremely insulting, but that same sentence is more likely to get you a raised eyebrow even in places where the vast majority of the native population have dark hair and it's considered strange to have lighter hair. (Japan, for instance.)

Killing is killing, so I don't see why killing a man is more acceptable than killing a woman or child.

Besides, video games are just made of pixels. If you can understand that what is happening on the screen isn't real, then there shouldn't be a problem with what is being shown.

I love brutally murdering humans in video games (And get pissed if I'm only given robots to 'kill' as is the case with Vanquish), and regularly watch horror movies and play horror survival games where such things are frequently depicted...but the moment I saw a significant amount of blood in real life that wasn't my own, I literally fainted.

GOD DAMMIT! I had all but forgotten about this mod. Well, anyways, my personal opinion on the matter is that, like all indie games, and by extension mods also, do deserve to be protected by freedom of speech (at least, thats what I hope the Supreme Court rules, unless they did rule and nobody told me).

But Im also of the opinion that Freedom of Speech should be a case-by-case bases, and that people like the mod creator and WBC should not be aloud free speech because of their abuse of such freedom... but that going down the way of malevolent dictator, and I still dont have the military force of kill-bots to support my rule, so this entire passage is void.

I just wish people would exercise some hint of intelligence and reasoning before they open their fucking mouths...

ha i knew jim would find his way into it
and rightfully so
he made at least some valid points aside the generic ones

Spot1990:

Harry Mason:
Goddamn, Jim is irritating. He's a pointless addition to the Escapist, and he's starting to infiltrate things other than his poorly made show.

And, really Jim? The whole "The hurtful power of racial slurs is the fault of those hurt by them" argument? I thought most of us left that behind in middle school when we grew powers of reasoning. If someone were to call you a grotesque fat-ass devoid of brain, it would be them being a jerk, not you masochistically taking it too personally.

Funny thing is, I frequently agree with Jim and disagree with the likes of MovieBob and Yahtzee. But I HATE Jim and LOVE MovieBob and Yahtzee.

Boo.

I think the point is the power of the words come from our reactions. If you did call him that and he wasn't offended your words would have been powerless.

My words would be powerless, yes. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't be being a dick. I can ignore someone kicking me in the shins. It doesn't mean that they aren't the ones to blame for all the shin kicking!

I love your avatar, by the way.

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